Maybe us europeans would need to make the non-us repositories alive again, maybe even distributions for europeans too (or a metadistro)...
what? You mean something like:
I am not involved in mesa development, so I won't do what I am going to propose, but here is my simple question to everyone involved in mesa or whoever has the time:
Did anyone even try to ask the patent-guys from S3 if it's ok to implement their technology in mesa??
Maybe we finally get an answer and if so, it is either of
- "yeah, no problem, as mesa is a free project" (so mesa can use it directly)
- "we had a patent on this? uh, we don't care" (so mesa can use it directly)
- "yes, but noncommercial only" (so mesa can use it directly, maybe via configure-switch)
- "absolutely not, we sue you instantly and kill your families!1!!" (so licensed users can use it via libdxtn)
Stop thinking+discussing too much and just ASK them!
First ask S3 (or whoever has the patent now). And in the worst case, here is another scenario: look at Blender; people bought it and opensourced it. Just a thought.
btw: Companies gather patents just to protect themselves from other companies with patents:
Corp. A: "Hey B, you released some product and we patented technology X you use!1!!"
Corp. B: "Well, but you use technology Y and we patented this"
Corp. A: "hm, oh well... so we're even, carry on, we were only kidding"
Look at early Microsoft/Sun/whatever... they simply used to be techies and did not care about patents. All this patent trolling occurred later.
If you'd ask S3, we knew if they are like Evil Corp A or not.